Aquino chooses Roxas as pres­i­den­tial can­di­date

The China Post - - LIFE - BY OLIVER TEVES

Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Benigno Aquino III said Fri­day he had picked In­te­rior Sec­re­tary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II as the ad­min­is­tra­tion can­di­date to suc­ceed him in elec­tions next year.

Aquino made the an­nounce­ment in the same meet­ing hall where Roxas de­clared six years ago that he was shelv­ing his own pres­i­den­tial am­bi­tions to give way to the son of the late democ­racy icon Co­ra­zon Aquino.

The 58-year-old for­mer con­gress­man and sen­a­tor said he was hon­ored to be en­dorsed by Aquino as the stan­dard bearer of the dom­i­nant Lib­eral Party.

The grand­son and name­sake of the Philip­pines’ first postWorld War II pres­i­dent promised to con­tinue on the “straight path,” Aquino’s pro­gram to fight poverty and cor­rup­tion.

Aquino said he picked Roxas be­cause “he has the com­pe­tence, he has no other boss ex­cept the peo­ple, who owes no one a debt of grat­i­tude, who has no in­ter­est ex­cept the na­tion’s.”

Aquino can­not run again be­cause the con­sti­tu­tion sets a sin­gle six-year term for the pres­i­dent and vice pres­i­dent.

Hun­dreds of party mem­bers and sup­port­ers cheered Aquino’s an­nounce­ment in the his­toric Cory Aquino Free­dom Hall where his mother took her oath as pres­i­dent af­ter the “peo­ple power” re­volt ousted dic­ta­tor Fer­di­nand Mar­cos in 1986.

“This is such a huge honor,” Roxas said. “With this endorsement, you are also en­dors­ing the dreams and the power of each of the 100 mil­lion Filipinos. ... I will never de­vi­ate from the ‘straight path.”’

Roxas was Aquino’s run­ning mate in the 2010 na­tional elec­tions but was de­feated in a sep­a­rate elec­tion by Je­jo­mar Bi­nay, who is now un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for al­leged cor­rup­tion dur­ing his term as mayor of Makati City, metropoli­tan Manila’s busi­ness dis­trict.

Bi­nay has al­ready said he will run for pres­i­dent next year, and re­cent sur­veys put him ahead of Roxas de­spite the cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions.

The in­de­pen­dent poll­ster So­cial Weather Sta­tions said a sur­vey in June showed Roxas in third place be­hind Sen. Grace Poe, who was in the top spot, and Bi­nay. An Aquino ally, Poe has not said if she will run for pres­i­dent and has re­port­edly been asked by Aquino to run in the vice pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

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